National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2003-2013

Improved Access to Mainstream Programs

To ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enjoy a healthy life equal to that of the general population that is enriched by a strong living culture, dignity and justice.

Page last updated: 30 August 2011

Longer Term Priority Actions (current year and beyond):
(Specific Strategies)

Lead Agency
(Contributing agencies)

Improved Access to Mainstream Programs

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme


23. Improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by:
  • Investigating and implementing mechanisms for improving access to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in areas which do not currently benefit from the current S100 arrangements, and support quality use of medicines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • Renegotiating MoUs with relevant participating States and Territories under the S100 program for remote Indigenous access to PBS medicines via approved Aboriginal Health Services;
  • Facilitating the inclusion of medications required for specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health needs, including those not yet subsidised and/or yet registered in Australia, considered for approval by TGA and considered for listing on the PBS.



DoHA

Medicare Benefits Schedule


24. Improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by:
  • Reviewing billing practices by doctors working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health to better understand the barriers that prevent all services provided being claimed through the MBS;
  • Implementing the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule initiative to increase access to appropriate mental health care through the creation of better linkages between GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists and other allied mental health professionals for patients with assessed mental disorders; – see also KRA4
  • Improving MBS enrolment rates, increasing the numbers of Medicare Australia Indigenous Liaison Officers across Australia, and increasing awareness among mainstream health service providers of the role of MLOs and the availability of the dedicated Indigenous access line.
  • Develop an online training tool to provide education on Medicare for medical staff in rural and remote locations.
  • Support, promote (to both the community and health providers) and monitor the use of the Indigenous Child and Adult Health Check items.
  • Consider an MBS item for telephone conferencing between doctors in a regional centre and nurses delivering health care in remote areas;
  • Consider extending the range of practice nurse items and Aboriginal Health Worker Medicare items provided ‘for and on behalf of’ a GP where appropriate;
  • Ensure information on new listings and items is communicated effectively to health services.





DoHA


DoHA




Medicare Australia



Medicare Australia/ DoHA

DoHA

DoHA/ Medicare Australia

DoHA

DoHA/ Medicare Australia

Hearing


25. Seek to increase the provision of and uptake of hearing services for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
26. Investigate opportunities to deliver accredited provider hearing services through ACCHSs in remote areas.



DoHA

Telecommunications


27. Explore options for promotion and uptake of appropriate forms of telehealth in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health service environment. – see also action 24



DoHA